Thursday, August 22, 2019

Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 47

1st Reading – ACTS 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
“The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
R. Alleluia.

2nd Reading – 1 JN 2:1-5A

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Alleluia – CF. LK 24:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us;
make our hearts burn while you speak to us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Gift of Understanding

With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:31-32 (Year A)

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45 (Year B)

These two passages above, from two subsequent appearances of Jesus to the Apostles, produced a unique blessing. In each story, Jesus opened the minds of the Apostles to the Scriptures in a new way. These were ordinary men who were given an extraordinary gift of understanding. It didn’t come to them as a result of long study and hard work. Rather, it came to them as a result of their openness to Christ’s powerful action in their lives. Jesus unlocked the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven to them. As a result, they suddenly understood truths that could never be learned on their own.

So it is with us. The mysteries of God are vast and wide. They are deep and transforming. But so often we fail to understand. We often even fail to want to understand.

Think about those things in your life now, or in your past, that have left you confused. You need a special gift of the Holy Spirit to make sense of them. And you need this gift to make sense of the many good things of God found in the Scriptures also. This is the Gift of Understanding. It’s a spiritual gift that unlocks the many mysteries of life for us.

Without the Gift of Understanding, we are left on our own to try to make sense of life. This is especially true when we are faced with hardship and suffering. How is it, for example, that an all-powerful and all-loving God can allow the good and the innocent to suffer? How is it that God can seem absent at times from human tragedy?

The truth is that He is not absent. He is centrally involved in all things. What we need to receive is an understanding of the profound and mysterious ways of God. We need to understand the Scriptures, human suffering, human relationships, and divine action in our lives. But this will never happen unless we allow Jesus to open our minds.

Allowing Jesus to open our minds takes faith and surrender. It means we believe first and understand later. It means we trust Him even though we do not see. St. Augustine once said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see. The reward of faith is to see what you believe.” Are you willing to believe without seeing? Are you willing to believe in the goodness and love of God even though life, or a particular situation in life, does not make sense?

Reflect, today, upon the Gift of Understanding. Believing in God means we believe in a person. We believe in Him even though we find ourselves confused about particular circumstances. But this gift of believing, the gift of faith, opens the door to a depth of understanding that we could never arrive at on our own.

Lord, give me the Gift of Understanding. Help me to know You and to understand Your actions in my life. Help me to especially turn to You in the most troubling moments of life. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.